Experience of using Google for Work in scientific paper review - and review of PhD-thesis

posted Oct 20, 2015, 2:51 AM by Niels Jensen   [ updated Dec 2, 2015, 12:32 AM ]
Safepark several years ago decided to use Google for Work, and it has not always been easy ot open the different documents, which we have received. However, over the years things have improved, and recently during review of submissions for a major conference on loss prevention and safety promotion next year, we have experienced very few problems.

The mentioned conference use a template with a special header on the first paper, and 3 years ago during the review of papers for the previous conference these headers disappeared on conversion to the Google Docs format. Also many graphical elements did not survive the transformation. This year the contributions submitted as *.docx documents opened without problems in the Chrome browser, and during conversion to the Google Docs format we only encountered a problem with one figure in 24 submissions. This has allowed us to comment extensively on each paper, suggest spelling corrections, etc, and share these commented versions of the submissions with the chair of the review group. One feature, which we could have used, was the ability to save a version of the commented paper without identifying the reviewer name and other personal information.

Only problem we encountered during this review process was our current document going offline, even though we could still access other websites and read and reply to e-mails in GMail.

During a recent review of a PhD-thesis written in Microsoft Word we experience the speed with which improvements comes to Google Docs. During a conversion of several chapters at the end of October most figures were not correctly imported from the Word document into the Google Docs document. At the end of November this had changed. Re-converting the same documents resulted in all figures being properly converted. And these conversions were done with the tools, that are free to use with any GMail account.